Since the iPod became popular in 2001, the music industry has never been the same. Never mind the constant battle between artists and online pirates, the iPod virtually abolished the need for CDs and cassettes and gave us the gift of music in a tiny little portable device.
As a result, we’re now conditioned to have sound buzzing in our ears constantly. Whether it’s listen to tunes in the gym, a podcast on the way to work or YouTube videos before bed; you can be sure most people have headphones in their ears at least once a day.
So will.i.am has taken it upon himself to make this important gadget a thing of beauty, in more ways than one. Not only is his latest creation BUTTONS a visually appealing and practical product that you’ll want to use instantly, but it has a purposeful intent to help the lives of others.
Let’s start with the charitable side to these headphones. The Black Eyed Peas frontman has never shied away from helping others, and in 2009 launched the i.am.angel Foundation in 2009. His aim was to provide education, inspiration and opportunity.
Focused on offering programs, scholarships and college preparation for young people, the foundation is heavily involved in championing scientific-based careers as well as technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
He and his company have joined the Pledge 1% movement and will donate 1% of net proceeds, 1% of staff time, and 1% of product to the i.am.angel Foundation. So when you buy BUTTONS you’re also helping give the youth of today a better chance tomorrow.
So what about the headphones themselves? Well they’re rechargeable, wireless, bluetooth and are inspired by vinyl records as you’ll see from the flat ‘button’ style exterior. Designed as an accessory that can be worn all day, the metallic clasp keeps the nylon cable in place round wearer’s neck when they’re not in use.
They offer over 6 hours of talk time and come in a black, grey, rose or gold toned finish.
Co-owners Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner have helped give BUTTONS coverage in the fashion world, and model the product in their editorial style advertising campaign. The campaign itself was dreamt up by André Leon Talley – i.am+ fashion director – who weaves a narrative that shows BUTTONS integrating seamlessly into our everyday lives.
Will.i.am says he’s thought long and hard about headphones and how we use them in our day-to-day lives;
“BUTTONS have adjustable ear pieces, different ear sizes, metallic buttons, they sound better, and they have a load of technology baked in. They are magnetic…we all chuck headphones in our bags, our pockets, they get all tangled up. Well we wanted to have a clasp so you can wear it”.
The pop star, who comes from Boyle Heights in east Los Angeles really wants to see change in his hometown. The i.am.angel Foundation plans to “turn Boyle Heights into a model for other communities around the world” by tapping into the community’s potential.
With the launch of their pledge and the i.am BUTTONS we’re certain that dream can become a reality.
You can find out more about i.am.angel Foundation at www.iamangelfoundation.org.